I needed solitude. Some pretty big questions were weighing on my heart and I couldn’t put them to words with anyone … except God.
Though the Lord has promised to be with us always, there is comfort in meeting Him in quiet, reserved places that have become altars of prayer. I have a few. Maybe you do too. One such place is a bench nestled between tall pines and the shade of a great elm. A creek runs behind it and welcomes the solitude of sitting with my Bible, journal and an open heart. In the midst of a noisy world, this peaceful place calls me to be still and hear the whisper of God.
Being still when life is hard is a discipline that doesn’t come naturally. The wonderful truth of Scripture can easily fade to printed words if distracting thoughts are not brought under control. This is the time to be deliberate; to push everything else aside and seek God alone for direction. The burden I brought was for a loved one. A multitude of intercessory prayers seemed to have evaporated on their heaven-bound journey, adding sorrow to the long, unresolved heartache.
When we hurt, prayers are real and to the point. “Father, I know that you are and I don’t doubt your promises, but my heart is heavy and I don’t know how to rise above the pain. Show me the way.” That was it. A two-sentence prayer before opening God’s Word for direction. I turned to the Psalms and read “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (34:18). “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, Oh God you will not despise.” (51:17)
As I read an unexpected visitor came alongside with an energy that was almost annoying. I dismissed it at first, but the tenacity of a little butterfly to make his presence known just couldn’t be brushed off. He fluttered in front of me, circled my shoulders and passed over my hands with tireless motion. Then, for a brief moment, he came to rest on my knee. Slowly, the tiny creature opened its wings revealing a large tear in one of them. “How are you able to fly?” I spoke aloud, as though my winged friend could answer and, at once, realized that God had. By all reason, this butterfly should have been grounded. It’s tattered wing was irreparable, yet it continued lifting it in unison with the one that was whole and defied its circumstances.
I’ll never know how the the butterfly’s wing was injured, but I do know that God used it to be a sweet testimony of His faithfulness. Life tears into us and sometimes we feel like we will never soar as we once did. Maybe we won’t. Maybe the wounding has come for reasons of greater purpose than we can see. But we are never left without the comfort of the Holy Spirit of Christ. The scars may remain, but the power to rise above them is possible as we lean on His sustaining grace; for the strength of God is sufficient to offset our greatest weakness.
Do you doubt that? Consider the words of Isaiah 40:28-31: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (NIV)
Are you wounded and weary? There is a Savior who went to extraordinary lengths to capture your attention with His love. No matter how torn or tattered your life may be, there is strength to carry you and power to lift you. It is found in Jesus.